Labour seeks to block Boris Johnson's general election move

Labour seeks to block Boris Johnson's general election move

The British Labour Party is going to block Boris Johnson's attempt to seek a general election in the UK.

Jeremy Corbyn last night said he wants a no-deal withdrawal from the EU to be taken off the table before Labour backs a snap poll.

MPs are to vote on the Brexit delay bill today, and if it passes, the vote on whether to hold an election will follow.

However, unless two- thirds of the Commons backs an election it cannot be called.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer believes Mr Johnson might move the date of the election, which would mean the UK would have a no-deal Brexit before any election took place.

Mr Starmer said: "It's that level of dishonesty that seeps into a distrust. The whole of the opposition and a number of what were Tory MPs - until last night - just don't trust (Johnson)."

Labour MP Lucy Powell called recent events in Westminster “unprecedented”, but said she hopes Jeremy Corbyn’s party will stop a no-deal Brexit.

The MP for Manchester Central said: “Unprecedented doesn’t even do it justice, but these are incredibly unprecedented times and the stakes keep being raised with every day that passes.

“We’ll do our best. We want an election, we’re ready for an election, we’ve wanted an election for a long time."

“The public want an election now because the impasse is such that it’s the only way this can be resolved.”

Mr Starmer said the British Prime Minister is “destroying” his own party after withdrawing the whip from 21 Tory rebels.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “To be honest, removing the whip from well-regarded Tory MPs that have served their party for years amounts to Johnson and Cummings destroying their own party. That will not end well.”

The shadow cabinet member dismissed talk of him leading a government if opposition parties asked him to attempt to coordinate a majority, should they look to bypass Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The MP said: “Let me be very clear. If we win a vote of no confidence then it is for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Opposition to seek to form a Government. That is the tradition in the country, it is the right thing to do. It is what Jeremy Corbyn wants to do and he is right to have that ambition.”

He said Labour would continue to push for a referendum on any Brexit deal which would include the “option to remain”.

“I don’t think we can break the impasse now without going back to the public to say: ‘Do we have your position to leave on these terms, or would you rather remain?'” he added.

Mr Starmer's colleague Richard Burgon, who is the Shadow Justice Secretary, also said Mr Johnson is untrustworthy.

Labour seeks to block Boris Johnson's general election move

Mr Burgon said: "Obviously it's a defeat for Boris Johnson...I really think that if anything is possible, but I think more and more people in parliament, regardless of party, and in the country, are learning the lesson that you can't trust Boris Johnson."

Independent MP Nick Boles, formerly of the Conservatives, said he would back plans put forward by 17 Labour MPs which would see Theresa May’s deal put to Parliament again.

He tweeted: “This is a very constructive set of amendments. I will be supporting them this afternoon and urge all MPs who want to see a sensible Brexit deal that protects jobs and livelihoods to vote for them too.”

What happens today

Mr Johnson is due to take his first Prime Minister’s Questions at noon today, before the Chancellor Sajid Javid sets out public spending plans.

MPs will then debate the draft legislation put forward by a cross-party group which would require a delay to Brexit unless there was a deal or Parliament explicitly backed leaving the EU without one by October 19.

A vote on a general election could be held later in the day.

Meanwhile, a decision is expected at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after a cross-party group of MPs and peers brought legal action aimed at halting the suspension of Parliament.

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